My Fantasy Herb Garden
Sometimes you read that to be a good writer, you should “write what you want to read.”
What I want to read is, how to create a magical, ethereal herb garden, and why we should.
I can’t write that however, because I don’t know the answers to those questions.
I assume however that I can just… start.
That is, clear some land, go to the nursery, purchase some herbs, dig some holes, and set my charges gently into the ground.
Of course, I will need to pay attention to which herbs — such as thyme and rosemary — like to be dry, and which — like Vietnamese coriander — like to be wet. Then, I’ll need to figure out to how to meet their various needs.
This fascination with herbs is not altogether new. I’ve been growing herbs for a couple of years now. Thyme for basically everything, tarragon for chicken, eggs, salads… oh, basically everything. Peppermint and spearmint for tea and stepping on, and for sniffing the air after Daisy rummages around there. Chamomile for pretty, daisy-like flowers and again the comforting aroma. Oh, and also for tea. Oregano and marjoram for soups and sauces. Cilantro for leaves and seed heads in the form of coriander pods that provide crunchy pops of immense and delightful flavor in salads.
What else? So much. Basil of course, for salads and pesto and pasta and tomatoes. Sage for roasting chicken. Lavender for beauty and romance. Rosemary to tuck inside the chicken cavity and slip under the skin on the thighs. Borage for delightful blue flowers that taste faintly of oyster in salads. Delicate, happy chervil to decorate anything and everything with a lacy fringe. And we can’t forget summer savory, which one year grew so huge in its half-wine barrel, I used it in virtually everything.
What about dill? Yes, for salmon. Fenugreek..? Not sure (what’s fenugreek?). Parsley, of course, tender-leafed as opposed to the tough, sandpapery stuff in the supermarket. Chives for omelettes! Fennel? Maybe. Lovage? Not sure what that’s for. Help me, reader!
For a few years now, I’ve grown sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme, tarragon, and oregano. And this year, heaps of basil.